Senior Manager of Corporate Relations

Job Type

Full Time




4141 West George Street
United States



Cradles to Crayons (C2C) was founded in 2002, with the mission of providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. C2C is at the cutting edge of volunteer management, and through its “Giving Factory” provides unique, hands-on opportunities for people to help other people. Headquartered in Boston, MA, C2C opened in Philadelphia in 2007 and in Chicago in 2016.

How Our Model Works: Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. C2C supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

Cradles to Crayons meets a critical need as many children 12 years old and younger live in low-income and/or homeless situations. These living conditions can have negative effects on self-esteem as poverty can lead to increased social and emotional behavioral challenges; it impacts early education since half of children living in poverty start 1st grade up to 2 years developmentally behind their peers; and safety may be compromised as children living in poverty have increased risk of injury.

While meeting the immediate needs of low-income children, Cradles to Crayons also sets a foundation for lasting change by providing meaningful, tangible volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals and families and hundreds of corporations each year by organizing clothing collections, hosting fundraisers, or working in the "Giving Factory" warehouse.

Cradles to Crayons earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator for several consecutive years. Only 2% of charities rated have received this distinction, differentiating C2C from its peers, exemplifying the high standard of service at C2C, and indicating that C2C outperforms most other charities in America.


The Senior Manager of Corporate Relations (SMCR) reports to the Associate Director of Development. The SMCR ensures that Cradles to Crayons meets our goals for strategic engagement by building and maintaining mutually beneficial partnerships with corporations that advance the goals of both Cradles to Crayons and partnering organizations. He/she is responsible for the execution of Cradles to Crayons’ expanding corporate fundraising and engagement activities including program and event sponsorships and revenue-generating service events. Also, the SMCR oversees Cradles to Crayons’ day-to-day corporate engagement programs to maximize corporate relationships for volunteer shifts, collection drives and other strategic relationship-building opportunities. The SMCR works well in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced and team-based environment to support the management of existing partnerships as well as the cultivation of new ones. 


·      Model and lead a positive “One Cradles” culture, underpinned by Cradles’ Cultural Values and related behaviors.

·      Responsible for building both Chicagoland and some national corporate relationships. Accountable for achieving established revenue goals related to both. 

·      Serve as a member of the Development Team and a key collaborator with the Community Engagement and Operations Teams. Play a strategic role between the departments and their overall fundraising, volunteerism, and product collection strategies.

·      Contribute to the strategy, development, and plan execution for the overall agency.

·      Actively engage, steward and manage a portfolio of corporate relationships to maximize potential.

·      Participate cross-functional team to create a holistic approach to corporate relationships and increase our ability to maximize funding, in-kind product and volunteerism.

·      Work with the Marketing team to develop, market and socialize materials and program elements that define and promote C2C as a premium non-profit partner including customized days of service.

·      Continue to grow C2C’s unique offerings including our offsite kitting program with the aim to raise substantial income and meet key product needs of the organization, in conjunction with cross-functional teams.

·      Contribute to new business development efforts by identifying and engaging prospective corporate partners through proactive outreach, leveraging C2C’s network and warehouse visits.

·      Lead, as appropriate, corporate fundraising efforts for C2C’s Ready for School Initiative and its signature event, Backpack-A-Thon, each year.

·      Solicit corporate support for C2C’s other initiatives including Gear Up for Winter and Spring Greening.

·      Optimize opportunities to position C2C as a thought and industry leader in high impact corporate engagement by maintaining level of current CSR research, and identifying other leadership, press, and speaking opportunities as appropriate – and while collaborating with the Marketing team on corporate events.

·      Represent, as assigned, Cradles to Crayons at corporate events including galas, awards ceremonies, breakfasts, etc. in an effort to expand C2C’s network of support.

·      Support C2C’s senior leadership in cultivating and soliciting all types of prospective donors both on a local and, when needed, national level.

·      Attend C2C’s signature events and contribute to other departmental and organizational goals and activities as needed.

·      Participate and actively contribute to organization-wide projects led by functional leaders in IT, Marketing and Finance as assigned. Work on special projects as requested. 

·      Other responsibilities, as assigned by the Associate Director of Development or the Executive Director.

Performance measures:

·      Meet aggressive fundraising objectives to meet the annual operating and capacity needs of C2C.

·      Market corporate engagement framework and materials including annual partnerships and customized service days.

·      Demonstrate ability to generate new business.

·      Renew and increase existing donor commitments.

·      Demonstrate ability to build, manage and inspire others toward development and organizational goals.

·      Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with staff in Chicago and other C2C staff across markets as well as the C2C Board of Directors, Development Committee and Corporate Advisory Council.

·      Uphold high quality of customer service with all C2C’s stakeholders.



·      College degree required; masters preferred.

·      5-7+ years of professional experience in development; experience in the Chicago corporate community preferred.

·      Strong written and oral communication skills, especially donor/sponsorship communications and marketing communications. Strong presentation, negotiation and liaison skills are required.

·      Results driven with a history of intentional cultivation, asking, and stewardship skills.

·      Basic understanding of budgets and financial statements.

·      Orientation for creative problem solving and identifying and developing strategic opportunities for expanded partnership.

·      Experience supervising staff and the ability to facilitate collaboration and achieve results between multiple programs or projects preferred.

·      Resourceful and entrepreneurial skills with the flexibility to work in a fast-paced environment as well as adapt in changing circumstances; willingness to work outside standard established business hours.

·      Excellent ability to prioritize and organize with strong attention to detail.

·      Demonstrate initiative, self-motivation, and the ability to absorb new information rapidly.

·      Strong local network and knowledge of Illinois’ non-profit sector.

·      Strong commitment to Cradles to Crayons’ mission; knowledge and understanding of relevant social issues.

·      Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite; familiarity with CRM systems such as Salesforce and research tools such as DonorScape.



Diversity and Inclusiveness are core values at Cradles to Crayons, and we continuously strive to be a team where everyone feels welcome and supported. It is the policy of Cradles to Crayons to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. Individuals from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.


This is a warehouse environment and normal changes in temperature are to be expected while working inside the warehouse or outside, on or around the loading dock. There are no hazardous or significantly unpleasant conditions.


In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made by Cradles to Crayons which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others, or which impose undue hardships on the organization.


Please apply by submitting a cover letter and resume with relevant experience at

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree